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Federal Mail Fraud & Wire Fraud Appeals

Federal Appellate Attorneys Handling Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud Appeals Throughout the United States

Linda Julin McNamara
Attorney Linda Julin McNamara
Federal Mail & Wire Fraud Appeals Team Lead
Former Deputy Chief, Appellate Division
Elizabeth Stepp
Attorney Elizabeth K. Stepp
Federal Mail & Wire Fraud Appeals Team
Partner & Yale Graduate
Nick Oberheiden
Attorney Nick Oberheiden
Federal Mail & Wire Fraud Appeals Team
envelope iconContact Nick

The federal mail fraud and wire fraud statutes are among the most potent weapons in the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) prosecutorial arsenal. These statutes apply in an extraordinarily broad range of circumstances, and they each impose maximum penalties of a $1 million fine and 30 years of federal imprisonment. As a result, not only are federal mail fraud and wire fraud convictions common, but many individuals who have been convicted of these crimes find themselves facing life-altering consequences.

If you have been convicted under the federal mail fraud or wire fraud statute, you should consult with a lawyer promptly about filing a federal appeal. Hiring a federal appellate lawyer to represent you affords several benefits, including:

  • Appealing your federal mail fraud or wire fraud conviction will generally “stay” (or delay) the imposition of your sentence;
  • If you have grounds to appeal your conviction, your lawyer may be able to have your conviction overturned;
  • If you have grounds to appeal your sentence, you may be able to substantially reduce (or even eliminate) your financial liability and federal prison term;
  • Successfully challenging your federal mail fraud or wire fraud conviction can preserve your professional reputation and allow you to continue to pursue your career; and,
  • While federal appeals of federal mail fraud and wire fraud convictions can lead to retrials in some cases, your lawyer’s arguments on appeal and in subsequent negotiations with the DOJ may result in a decision not to prosecute or a favorable plea deal.

At Oberheiden P.C., we have extensive experience representing clients in federal mail fraud and wire fraud cases. This includes handling mail fraud and wire fraud cases at the trial and appellate levels. As former DOJ prosecutors, many of our lawyers have first-hand knowledge of how the federal government handles these cases; and, with both extensive trial and appellate experience, we are intimately familiar with the issues that can justify going to—and lead to success at—the U.S. Court of Appeals.

The Federal Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud Statutes: How These Laws Facilitate Wide-Reaching Federal Prosecution

While many federal criminal statutes focus on specific criminal acts (i.e., committing healthcare fraud or securities fraud), the federal mail fraud and wire fraud statutes are different. These statutes focus not on any specific substantive form of fraud, but rather the method by which an alleged fraud is committed.

The federal mail fraud and wire fraud statutes cover all forms of fraud—establishing criminal culpability for anyone who devises or intends to devise “any scheme or artifice to defraud.” As noted above, this language is extraordinarily broad, and it allows the DOJ to prosecute in a wide range of cases, including cases in which prosecutors lack sufficient evidence to prosecute for a specific substantive crime. The federal mail fraud statute (18 U.S.C. Section 1341) states in relevant part:

“Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud . . . for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice or attempting so to do, places in any post office or authorized depository . . . any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by the Postal Service, or deposits or causes to be deposited any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by any private or commercial interstate carrier, or takes or receives therefrom . . . shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If the violation occurs in relation to . . . a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency . . . or affects a financial institution, such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.”

Similarly, the federal wire fraud statute (18 U.S.C. Section 1343) states in relevant part:

“Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud . . . transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If the violation occurs in relation to . . . a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency . . . or affects a financial institution, such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.”

As you can see, these statutes do not require evidence of any particular form of fraud, nor do they require the successful execution of a fraudulent scheme. Simply devising or intending to devise a scheme is sufficient. Sending or receiving anything via mail (or private carrier) is sufficient to trigger culpability under 18 U.S.C. Section 1341, while using the Internet in any manner is sufficient to trigger culpability under 18 U.S.C. Section 1343.

But, while these federal statutes may facilitate wide-reaching federal prosecution, their scope—and the DOJ’s authority to prosecute under these statutes—is not unlimited. Several issues during the prosecutorial process can provide strong grounds for a federal mail fraud or wire fraud appeal. In some cases, defendants will have options before or after filing an appeal as well (or after the deadline to file a Notice of Appeal has expired). With our extensive experience handling federal mail fraud and wire fraud cases at the trial and appellate levels, we can evaluate all of your options, and we can help ensure that you strategically challenge your conviction (or sentence) by all means available.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden

Founder

Attorney-at-Law

Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former DOJ Trial Attorney

Partner

Brian J. Kuester
Brian J. Kuester

Former U.S. Attorney

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior DOJ Trial Attorney

Linda Julin McNamara
Linda Julin McNamara

Federal Appeals Attorney

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former DOJ attorney

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (DOJ)

Chris Quick
Chris J. Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Michael S. Koslow
Michael S. Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (DOD-OIG)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

Options for Challenging a Federal Mail Fraud or Wire Fraud Conviction (or Sentence)

What are your options for challenging a federal mail fraud or wire fraud conviction (or sentence)? The answer to this question depends entirely on the circumstances and current status of your case. Strict deadlines apply to federal criminal appeals, and the events that occurred before and during your trial will be the primary determinants of the options you have available. With this in mind, broadly speaking, the options for challenging a federal mail fraud or wire fraud conviction (or sentence) include:

  • Filing a motion for a judgment of acquittal, a new trial, or an arrest of judgment
  • Filing an appeal based on a flawed jury selection process (voir dire)
  • Filing an appeal based on the improper admission or exclusion of trial evidence
  • Filing an appeal based on the improper granting or denial of pretrial or trial motions
  • Filing an appeal based on a verdict against the manifest weight of the evidence

If you have exhausted these options, or if the deadline to appeal your conviction or sentence has passed, you may still be able to obtain justice through a motion for post-conviction relief. When you choose Oberheiden P.C. as your appellate counsel, our lawyers will carefully evaluate all of your options, and we will help you make informed decisions about how to move forward.

FAQs: Filing a Federal Mail Fraud or Wire Fraud Appeal

Is it worth appealing a federal mail fraud or wire fraud conviction?

 

Whether it is worth appealing a federal mail fraud or wire fraud conviction depends on the facts of your case. However, what is absolutely worth it in any case is discussing your options with a federal appellate attorney. You owe it to yourself to make informed decisions, and this starts with seeking advice from highly-experienced federal appellate counsel.

What are the potential outcomes of a federal mail fraud or wire fraud appeal?

 

The potential outcomes of a federal mail fraud or wire fraud appeal range from having your sentence upheld to having your conviction thrown out entirely. Our federal appellate lawyers can evaluate your likelihood of success and help you decide whether it makes sense to pursue an appeal.

Can I appeal a federal mail fraud or wire fraud conviction without a lawyer?

 

While individuals can represent themselves in federal appeals, handling your appeal pro se is not your best option. Federal appeals are exceedingly complex, and it is strongly in your best interests to have a team of experienced appellate lawyers on your side.

How long do I have to appeal a federal mail fraud or wire fraud conviction?

 

From the date of your conviction, you generally have 14 days to file a Notice of Appeal in the appropriate federal court. This preserves your appellate rights, and then the U.S. Court of Appeals will set the deadlines for the remainder of your appellate case.

How long does it take to pursue a federal mail fraud or wire fraud appeal?

 

The amount of time it takes to pursue a federal mail fraud or wire fraud appeal varies case by case. Broadly speaking, however, pursuing a federal criminal appeal is an extremely time-intensive process, and the overall appellate process typically takes somewhere in the range of six months to a year.


Discuss Your Federal Mail Fraud or Wire Fraud Appeal with a Senior Attorney at Oberheiden P.C.

If you need more information about pursuing a federal mail fraud or wire fraud appeal, we encourage you to contact us promptly. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a senior federal appellate attorney at Oberheiden P.C., please call 888-680-1745 or request an appointment online today.

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